@ Newcastle Hyem, February 27 2011

Have you ever bought a present for someone knowing very well that you’re intent on getting more satisfaction from it than the person you gave it to?  Well you can bet that was happening in this all-dayer, with parents equally enthusiastic about an event specifically advertised for younger generations. It didn’t matter whether it was your first gig or your 500th – all ages could enjoy.

Colt 45 introduced an eclectic Newcastle crowd to their catchy pop punk tunes to provide the perfect warm up for the day’s activities. There may have been a few young ears that hadn’t quite accustomed to the occasional electric guitar in sound-check, but the Cumbrian band made listening easy with a set that began in euphonic yet energetic tone, and finished intensely with These Unspoken Arguments.

Closer to home, Newcastle’s Harlot have been making bigger and bigger waves that have seen them recently support Metal Hammer favourites Kobra And The Lotus.  Even with guitar trouble on Absence Of The Heart, the young four-piece showed just why they’re hyped as hot property with a fine blend of melodic metal and controlled guitar duelling. The latter revealing a nostalgic yet justified influence of early Brit Metal. Their performance with KATL was the best of the night on that occasion, and although they might not have been this time round, the competition was fierce.

As this all-dayer pushed on into evening, Tiger Please might have seemed a little out of place for the bill. Purely gauging reactions around the venue, their set divided tastes by either providing an apt amount of time for a cat-nap or easing an eager listener nicely into dusk.  Whilst they boasted a setup that was unarguably tight, their mellow touches of soft rock sadly didn’t hit the previously excitable mood for the best part. With things already in full swing, perhaps an earlier appearance would have given them a fairer chance to impress.

Touring heavily with a new album, a bulk of potential and a growing fanbase, The Crave might have let the burdensome pressure and the big-name support slot go to their head, but despite gracing the same stage as rock icons Status Quo for a December tour, the Brighton act relentlessly push on for further success.

Evidently relishing their surroundings, The Crave were the people’s choice, and they knew it all too well when the real party started.  The four-piece might have basked in the joys of a Sunday roast previous to their set, but that didn’t weigh them down with any tendency for a lazy, bloated performance.

Encouraging widespread involvement, singer and guitarist Ryan Burnett led with a charge of pristine vocals, backed consistently by the melodious harmonising of his band mates. Breaking The Silence stepped proceedings up a level, but it was popular video hit High that broke inhibitions, with its chorus of uplifting pop-rock receiving a resonating reception.

The Crave do have a modern sound, but much to the delight of the nostalgic fundamentalists there’s definite classic rock influence there, giving an ol’ rocker the perfect excuse to embarass the kids with some fine moves on the floor.

With this healthy merge of contemporary attitude and retro melody, The Crave not only embody a clever and charismatic sound, but also bridge a generation gap, especially on a unique afternoon that had all the intentions to diversify musical participation.

Calum Robson